In the tradition of Once Upon a Time in America or even The Godfather, this film is one of the finest crime sagas I’ve ever seen. From start to finish, I was captivated by both the stories of the criminal and the cop. And, unlike some other crime films of yesterday that had “saga”-like feels to them, this one is based in reality. Yes, it’s violent, but I have a feeling that the violence here is grounded in truth. This very possibly might have been how Frank Lucas’ Harlem streets were back in the 1970s. Lucas is a black man in the white business of heroin… “white” meaning, at the time, only Italian…as in the Mob. Lucas becomes bigger than any mob figure…he owns the Harlem streets. He has Mafiosi begging to work with his organization. Enter cop and wanna-be lawyer Richie Roberts, who makes it his job bring down Lucas and his entire network. The acting really puts this movie over the top…the screenplay and direction are stellar, but the performances make it a classic!

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A fabulously acted movie that holds your attention all the way through. Based on a true crime from the 1920s, director Clint Eastwood takes what could have been a simple movie and makes it into a psychological, intense drama. After a mother’s son goes missing, corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department takes over and forces the mother to accept a child that is not her own. When the mother protests, she is called crazy and put in an asylum. Apparently, this real-life case began the fall of the corruption among L.A.’s finest. Regardless of the truth of this story, it is an enthralling film. Angelina Jolie is superb as the wronged mother. And Eastwood’s knack for storytelling has never been better. The story lags a little near the end but all in all, a great film.
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